FIA Formula 2, Mugello: Benvenuti a Tutti



Big Fat

Big Fat

Or how about this?

Big Fat

Big Fat

Or maybe that?

Big Fat

Big Fat

Today we’re (virtually) at Mugello for the FIA Formula 2 Sunday Sprint Race. And what a RACE it was!

While F1 took ispiration from the Italian national flag, da Tricolore, in the sense that they had red flags aplenty, Formula 2 delivered a more professional, I would say, race. Yeah.

Sometimes even seasoned pros can eff it up like a basic rookie.

It was a good day to be a Renault F1 junior in lower categories, as proven by Oscar Piastri. OP’s bigger sister brother, Christian Lundgaard, took what appeared to be his second win of the season ahead of Louis Delétraz (CL won one SR race in July, in Spielberg).

For Red Bull drivers Sunday at the Tuscan GP translated into multiple podiums: one for our old interviewee, Alex Albon, now in F1, and one for our new interviewee, Jüri Vips, currently in F2.

Sergio, via live virtual presser, questioned JV who masked his emotions behind a surgical mask.

Sergio: Could you talk us through your start and what went wrong?

JV: It’s pretty sensitive. We have a special throttle map and it’s basically to prevent cars from stalling but it’s very aggressive so if you say, like, I dunno, if you’re already around 60% on the pedal – you’re 100% throttle on the engine side. It’s very sensitive to how much throttle you have, to how much wheelspin you’re gonna have. So this is just something for me to get my head around, how to do good starts consistently because this is not something I’m not doing at the moment and I think with more track time it will get better and better.

Sudenly, out of nowhere, Louis Delétraz and Christian Lundgaard interrupt JV to suggest having less throttle at the start – nah, you can’t  seriously suggest that to a fellow racing driver! What a Leslie Nielsen-esque situation, fun and games at the presser.

Cheeky laughter in the background.

Continued JV: “Yes, I know!

“But sometimes you do less and then you jump the start. It’s a fine balance.”

Staying with JV, Sergio then inquired about Yokohama rubber in Super Formula vs Pirelli F2 offer – was different tyre usage the reason behind not being able to overhaul our old pal Louis Delétraz for P2?

I’m sure we all remember the quick Estonian’s participation in F2 is only due to the inability to travel to the land of the rising Yuki Tsunoda where he was supposed to take on the Super Formula’s crème de la crème. Here’s a plug for my man Tora Takagi. Is he still racing?

JV: “Yeah, ah, very different tyres.

“Yokohamas they’re, well, I would say a little bit more enjoyable to drive both on one lap and in the race. They do go away a little bit in the race but you mainly just have to be careful on the traction because they’re very temperature-sensitive so once you spin the wheels you just lose grip.

“But it doesn’t really become that difficult to drive or anything, you just lose a little bit of rear grip in a race. Um, and on one lap you can put a lot more load in high-speed corners on the tyre, whereas with Pirelli you always have to be very careful, especially with these new 18-inch on one lap, you can’t be aggressive with the steering wheel, you can’t always slip the tyre and in the race it’s a lot about the management.

“There’s a lot you can do also with brake bias, there’s a lot you can do with driving different lines.

“Well, this is a little bit like F3 but there’s a lot more to it in F2 and this is what I’m learning now.”

Next up on the calendar is Sochi. I can almost say I fancy it because Mugello is more suited to Formula 4 than F1/F2/F3, despite my utmost respect for the picturesque Italian circuit.

NGU’s student (Never Give Up University of Russia), Nikita Mazepin will get his chance to shine on home soil, just as the forgotten soul of GP2/F2, Artem Markelov.

What an opportunity for Robert Shwartzman as well.

See ya, poka.

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